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Men’s Lacrosse: ND to meet top teams on trip

Douglas Farmer | Thursday, March 4, 2010

While their classmates travel hundreds of miles in pursuit of warm weather, the No. 3 Irish will travel thousands of miles — 3,727 to be exact — in pursuit of stiff competition. If things go according to plan, they’ll find both top competition and fun during their Caribbean Spring Break.

“It’s always a good trip in terms of team bonding,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. “We spend a lot of time together … It’s a busy week.”

No. 3 Notre Dame (2-0) will begin its spring break slate Saturday with a game in Baltimore against No. 10 Loyola (Md.) in the Face-Off Classic. Notre Dame and Loyola (2-0) join a top-notch field at the Classic, featuring No. 6 Maryland against No. 9 Duke and No. 7 Princeton against No. 5 Johns Hopkins. Notre Dame and Loyola are the last of the three top-10 match-ups Saturday.

“[Loyola is] a very skilled team that is playing very good lacrosse right now,” Corrigan said. “They have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder — they didn’t get into the [NCAA] Tournament last year and feel like they are one of the top teams.”

The Irish will then travel to Philadelphia to face Drexel before finishing their trip in Houston against Fairfield.

“It’s a great week for our team,” Corrigan said. “It’s three very good games, and it’s tough to play three games in seven days like that.”

Despite the busy week on the field, Corrigan said the players still relish spring break.

“They are just like any other students. They can get ground down over the first eight weeks of school, and then they have midterms to deal with,” he said. “No question the break comes at a good time and it will be good for the guys.”

Corrigan said he does not expect the Irish to let their minds completely vegetate, but instead to take a slight rest.

“It will be nice, for the first 10 days our guys can really focus on lacrosse,” Corrigan said. “They don’t have work to do. They don’t have classes.”

Without the classes, senior goaltender Scott Rodgers, named a candidate for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, senior attack Neal Hicks and the rest of the Irish will be expected to properly prepare for Loyola.

“We’re just worried about Loyola on Saturday right now. We’ll take them as they come,” Corrigan said. “It’s very boring but if you approach it in any other way, that is when you run into trouble.”

Notre Dame meets Loyola Saturday at 4 p.m., Drexel Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Fairfield on March 13 at 1 p.m. (CDT).